tv Larry King Now RT September 6, 2013 9:00pm-9:31pm EDT
the final word on how to find it. we need to exercise a. baseline we can move up from. the coming economic crisis everybody was poor and a lot of people. were surprised the national level didn't go down very much because it seemed to have everybody we're all in this together plus. two others. on larry king. here are in these. beautiful boathouse in the middle of central park in the heart
of new york city what a perfect place to do larry king now today to discuss happiness our guests. i use stern school of business. in which he explores different ideas about. exposing them to scientific research paul zak is a neuro economist and the founding director of the center for neuro economic studies it graduate university and he studies the role of hormones. and how it would have made us what is that hypothesis. this is the title of the publisher's made up for my book as i was writing it and i don't know what that is. finished the book. three. obvious one is we get happy when we get what we want but everyone knows that's not true you succeed and then almost right away you're on to what's the next thing the deeper one which you find. and is comes from within does not sound wise and to
some extent it is you're not going to become happy by making the world conform to your wishes so work on yourself be more accepting and that's there's a lot of truth to that by the end of the book is that the best way to save is that happiness comes from between getting the right relationship between yourself and others yourself and your work and yourself and something larger than yourself and that's why paul and i feel our work is really headed that way that relationships are the key is it though guys episodes can't have a happy morning in a bad afternoon and you have a see a great movie and you're happy when you come out and the meal is bad and you're not happy right so this is super cute response we're talking this long term what really drives our pleasure what gives me happiness in my life in the sense of long term sometimes you're going to move very much both things are interesting some people have a chronically high level they're just they start here and then they move up and down
from here others start low and just move up and down a little bit but does it might relate to might i be happy if i may go out of money you'll be happy if you just had a nice day driving the bus it's definitely true that we respond to different things but the key thing that in the book all i have found is that is that it really comes down to relationships relatedness being connected so money itself doesn't get you happiness unless you use it in ways that improve your relationships but money can also deflect unhappiness you certainly can and there's no soap on being poor. and stress of living simply because the biological factors come out people being happy in particular to respond to towson as you mentioned will call me a published the happiness report and apparently america is ranked eleventh in the world happiness index i left as they do that the happiest country in the world is done and we are number eleven other how they do that but as a model where you talk to a guy in des moines well i know you talk to
a thousand. and demoing a thousand women in des moines another so these are mostly based on self report and it turns out that while people can't sell a lot of things about them how happy you are is actually something that people do know and these studies cross national studies of happiness they tend to find the nordic countries tend to be the happiest but basically the wealthy western nations including the u.s. tend to be the happiest well pretty much bunched up at the top of eleven doesn't mean we're way behind we're sort of bunched up at the top socialist countries to be happier if they're taking care of your needs that's right and you see these countries also very high levels of interpersonal trust. trust countries and also a country that's growing in terms of prosperity so we have this sort of. moving up somehow and then mark you do see this consistent growth in the incomes not dramatic but consistent in a very tight community where we really know each other. names right so how can you not be happy with all your brothers and cousins around but outside of that student
countries you go to war a lot make it's feeble and that tends to boost happiness quite a lot. if you're being bombed that's different but things that unify things that bring people together things that foster tight relatedness and trust tend to boost happiness one of the early studies done by social scientists but in the nineteenth century suicide found that when countries go to war the suicide rate plummets. basically anything that brings you together and so you can be happy post nine eleven. spike in trust among americans remember this larry this time of the cubs game we love new york what did you ever see that so the sense that we need to come together as a community and i think that's really where happiness comes from so aristotle said it was a really big happiness he said there were better than communities there's communities in our relation to them that make us happy so when we talk about is happy is a feeling on nine eleven and twelve we weren't feeling oh i'm so overjoyed but that
whole period for many of us was a really rich time of life not one that we look back on and feel joy but in many ways it did enrich our lives of other events like for asia where we have an economic crisis can you be out of work. not very much so. much like more likely to be depressed and happiness is like a muscle you need to exercise it so we can talk later about specific things people can do to preserve happiness but again when you're paying the mortgage and losing your house and not know you not to be happy it's really going to try to counter the one i want to put into bringing here is that we don't really know just absolute levels of things which we notice how we're doing relative to others and how we're doing relative to ourselves in the past when the economic crisis hit and everybody was a lot poorer and a lot of people were out of work the surprising finding was that the national happiness level didn't go down very much because it seemed to be having to everybody we're all in this together so envy leads to unhappiness and. that's
right and so we need to do is work on building those relationships so if i envy you i might say hey larry what are you doing what makes you so happy how can we become better friends so should we reveal the big secret that we actually had before the talk so. you know that everyone had everybody because we saw that touch lisa's oxytocin and i can only give you that gift i can make my brain really said i can give it to you so this connection is very important bill happiness you know book is called the moral molecule the source of love and prosperity and you are a neuro at the nomic studies right what is right you're all at the moment so we measure brain activity while people make decisions and some those decisions and money just a way to see what people value so sober example we do decisions in which you can share money with a stranger and ask why would you ever do that if you share money with a stranger i would ever return it to you as we showed that was i want to trust it tangibly with money their brains release oxytocin and it motivates them to reciprocate so this is the biological basis for the golden rule which exists in every culture on the planet we found very recently larry that in fact the individuals released the most oxytocin when there are happier or more satisfied
their lives why better romantic relationships and friends closer to their family members and they're even nicer to strangers or share the money task in a capitalist society isn't money because that is the number one ingredient. the gordon gaze gordon gekko happy. well gordon gekko if his motto is greed is good and if he has a lot of money but poor relationships then no he would not be people who win the lottery. it tends not to make them happy or for one thing it ruins the relationship suddenly everyone around you things the only piece of it but part of it gotta make them happy the money. earned success makes people happy so if you work hard and people respect you for it so you work hard people esteem you you feel you're moving up and it doesn't damage your relationships people actually admire you for it that does make you happy so rich people are happier on average but if you make your money by winning the lottery you know so that's called meaning so it's really
whether your life has meaning you have a purpose you want to do something important for the world if you do you're going to be happy and if you do that and have strong person relationships boom you're going to made but the one thing hard to pin down is you could be. the dean of war school at harvard and be unhappy you could be a bus driver on addison avenue if they had a. relative and not just back from the jungles of your d.n.a. you were actually did a study taking blood from these indigenous peoples no electricity no running water no bathrooms very primitive sort of spend a week there and i found these induce to be extraordinarily happy i got. nothing to do to wait for the equipment or post touching me and they're looking in my eyes i felt so close. to me because they have the time to build social relationships people happy in phoenix before there was air conditioning when they didn't know they were in this so the one of the big so there are two big surprises
in happiness research that really launched the field the first is that your average level of happiness is really heritable so the bus driver who is happier than the millionaire that's most likely because his genes made his brain his brain is very approach very relational oriented so your inherited personality traits are actually a bigger part of explanation than anything happens in your life the second amazing finding was that when people began studying had been is the one nine hundred eighty s. and ninety's they found that things like live in couch beautiful sunny california versus snowy buffalo didn't make any difference money made less difference than they thought even being healthy versus sick doesn't make very much difference if it's a chronic thing because we adapt to things we adapt to discomforts us if used as fully steals something. get away with it. let's put the question the seven deadly sins forget the afterlife the seven deadly sins deadly because
they separate us from others they say it's all about me i'm stealing i'm taking from others i'm most important i'm selfish i'm lazy if i give to others what i get return relief from them they say larry you're great. and you're going to be. so then giving is selfish giving himself so if you're a selfish person like you win the lottery you need to give it away and so look at the gates one nine hundred eighty s. he was being sued by now he's a wonderful human being a philanthropist. and the. all giving should be anonymous and that's a recipe for a much much lower levels of giving. one of the great things about philanthropy is that you get esteem from others people respect you. study moral psychology my view is we're not deeply neatly takes that we just want to make the world a better place we do want to help people but that's in part because we evolved to be cooperative we want to get the credit for it we want people to like us and trust
us before getting caught. was bernie made of happy people with thanking him bernie and they'd be a fortune thank you please let me ever invest with you but then what did you do he confessed to his son he was. a year before that he wanted to be if you really happy when he had a wonderful meal but he wasn't satisfied he was a fool. he was a human being with a shred of conscience then he must have actually been i would guess he was anxious and thinking this is some day and feel very torn that he feels that i don't know that he's a normal human being with a conscience the exceptions are psychopaths who really don't have a conscience and they just don't care so we find there are still some dysfunction these individuals. taken for granted i don't care because their brains are not wired for this bad with his terrific. will find out if a pill can make you happy don't go away.
searching for that magic ingredient being happy we're at the boat house in central park with john of the hyped paul's both best selling authors both in the field and a film like yeah be. well prozac in the antidepressants stream the well i've tried to myself i've seen marriages saved by people who took them but then there's this puzzling fact of the research findings do show some effect but often not much and often not much more than placebo i think with research is showing is that these drugs really do believe anxiety they're quite effective at that so if if you tend to be anxious and worrying you're kidding yourself and punishing yourself a lot these drugs will shut that off so is the absence of anxiety happiness again if you think of happiness as a feeling then yes it's if you're anxious you're much less likely to be happy especially if you feel that there's some sort of threat if you just sort of anxious like there's the wonderful thing like my wedding is coming off that kind of anxiety
doesn't make you unhappy but if you feel threatened then yes that certainly cuts ok make you happy you're going to be a cute reward sensation sure but. you'll pay for it why not use it because you burn out this reward system of the brain that makes you feel happy when you see your daughter supplier makes you feel. when you know something you want to do it work so . confusing individuals and we can get them to be more generous more compassionate more caring for others give more money to charity and they're actually going to start to change but they leave money so it's interesting that they're reaching out more but they really don't have a strange happiness delivering of good news when you expect that would be the two happiest words to ever hear are it's but nine. not true well already you're you're you're told it's. a word that you know we should distinguish there's a bunch of interesting psychological states here and one of them that isn't mentioned enough is relief because
a lot of what happens is we're focused on something we're focused on something we get the good news release we don't jump up and down for joy and so one of the most interesting findings to me as i was studying research on happiness is the distinction between the pleasures as you're making progress towards a goal and the pleasure when you reach the goal and the pleasure when you reach a goal is very short lived it actually is better described as relief you feel good if. i can relax and by the next day usually there's not much residue the pleasure of making progress towards your goals that can go on for years this is a type person trying to be on them they are actually there's a never satisfied. to be socially subordinated they're anxious so i think one of the big breakthroughs in. is that you can actually train your brain to release more oxytocin connect to people so there are easy exercises you can do and discuss them or. they tell you actually how you can be a person you've done this to myself you can do things exercise to make. martin
seligman has a book authentic happiness and is a website to do a lot of research there. you simply ask people the end of each day to make a list of three things that went well that day and why and what it seems to do is the first time it's not an effect. but from then on during the day you get your think. you know so and so just help me we got this thing done together let me remember that so i can write it down tonight and you notice all the ways the people help you all the little pleasures and advantages you have in life it makes you more when you stop taking things for granted and it's as effective as prozac in raising people's mood. as such things as messages people who want to be on that. there are unfortunately and so these individuals are kind of pathological another. where it's more than that they serve endure the pain and i think that you know it is that sort of acute response it's not this long term so it's really you know relationships and having
a sense of purpose or meaning i think it also the nurse science says that this is all being driven by the l word love and so you know the greeks. but the sort of sense of feel that you know that we care about you. john i love you i really care about you i mean that we noticed over many years i would have almost anything he asked me to do to help him and i'm really concerned about him being a happy person just saying that to the people around you is enough to start stimulating this kind of response a little bit of a clip oh oh how nice what about living in a world where most things are happy for example most headlines are bad. bad headline can secured polio once in a while. but most headlines are negative but not always is that which is this is local it doesn't really matter to us what's going on in the world what matters is what's going on very very locally so for example when you plot how happy republicans and democrats are and you see how it changes republicans
a little bit happier on average than democrats and when the white house changes hands and your party loses on average no change people don't get less happy they say they will this is what's called forecasting predicting your own happiness people say oh you know if that guy wins i'm moving to canada oh i'll be miserable for four years but it's not true you you don't. happy election day but a couple days later you're back so i have been is is in your both of your opinions attainable. we have to make ourselves happier we all have a set point we all have a heritable baseline we can move up from that and live permanently higher but it doesn't mean that a person is born somewhat depressive and anxious can become an extremely happy person for the rest of their lives. they're the bends in trying to overcome all right you lose a child so can you ever be happy so for example we've studied sexually abused women reproduce actually abused women and we found about half of them this system for connection oxytocin shuts down so they abuse is so. egregious that you just can't
get beyond it and they have very poor lives apart one lady in our sample actually committed suicide. the other half actually resilience and so that resilience to this sense of you know what i would overcome this i'm going to start a charity to focus on women's issues i want to do other things that give my life meeting there's a wonderful term called post-traumatic growth and i. know that's right but it's that just as just terrible things can change your brain and permanently make you more more anxious it can damage you but if you cope with it well you discover new skills new abilities new strengths you had and also tragedy health crises these tend to bring people to your aid is to strengthen relationships many people grow from tragedy does meditation help so we studied that from nurse scientific perspective people have never meditated before and taught them two different kinds of meditation come stanford relaxation mindfulness meditation now they're called metta meditation which translates to loving kindness where you both focus on your
breathing but you begin to think of other people close to you how you care about them and then people further and further away. and maybe someone who's difficult in your life we found that individuals who practice mental meditation had lower brain activity in areas associated things like anxiety they were more altruistic after six weeks of training and they were. happier so it gets really about other people what happens when you meditate. what happens when you meditate. and try to think of nothing i cannot think of. well it's a skill you have to practice it it's what i learn we have yes absolutely and that we have a running soundtrack in our in our minds one of my favorite psychological lines comes from homer simpson who once said shut up brain or i'll stab you with a q-tip. meditation is an alternative to stab your brain with a q tip a lot of people ruminate is especially a problem for women more than men but. all of us have this problem we can't let go of something meditation makes it really easy to even
a negative thought of critical thought you just sort of let it go drifting away is that buddhism is it we've actually found that praying. to meditate in churches or going to churches and take. in fact people release oxytocin they feel closer to the meditate so no it's a learned process simple so meditation sounds like something very complicated eyes closed silence somewhere where the group one giant mind is going to get one hundred million people around the world to engage in twenty minutes of silence anyone can do it what is it doing for me. is reducing the sensory input that you're getting this is why the eyes close and forward in the silence is important here is letting you kind of get practice homeostatic state where your heart rate will reduce or you don't have the stress of digest your food better you'll feel calmer i think of eating a meal immediately which you've done many times right through five courses over the course of three or four hours it's very calm you eat slowly and you feel comfortable having a conversation versus the american right just as you can get done so meditation is
kind of you tell you in dining experience things down to happen people deal with anger. anger is actually in a technical sense a positive emotion in that you look at the brain some emotions are about approach others about whether drawl. sadness fear anxieties about withdrawal. anger does not make you less happy now if it damages relationships it forces you to ruminate then it can but some interesting research on political partisans shows that extreme liberals and conservatives who are generally more angry are happier than people in middle anger can motivate you to act it can bind you to other people to address an injustice you have the people and the bad news that. they cannot and they do that by since you're looking at the long run view so something terrible happened to me what do i do about it so for example and my wife was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and actually get
a shell shock it really brought her family together ok what do we do to help her get healthy and so it's very important to use these emotions to look at the long run. to improve our relationship our families much closer from our religious. yes they are that's one of those things you know it turns out most of the effect is the community are so religious so prayer just how often you pray or whether you believe in god that is what matters is do you go to church regularly do you participate in religious community regularly it's the fellowship is the community that seems to be the main active ingredient so atheist would tend to be on that people you know it's funny there are atheist communities which i've spoken to and they have one in boston recently they meet on sundays they meet in the hall what i legit it's like a vision of what is it wanted to be when i was there are we saying you need is love the beatles are talking about how doing and so i recommend larry the day very simple thing people can do to increase release and those around them means once an
hour walk while you're out of the house it's great to have today easy way to get the brain trained to connect to others when was the suggestion i made a simple thing to try to go to dinner. very telling to double the tip to give the server to be generous and then leave before he or she sees it and just train yourself that you. i can just reach out to make someone's day happy or why do i always feel better when i give something over search on helping shows that. people who give help get more of a psychological benefit than people who receive help even if you need help the person who helps you on average is going to get more of a boost then than you will for receiving the help again it's about connection human beings have always lived in these really intense tight communities sometimes suffocating so beginning of the modern era a couple hundred years ago we can begin to break out the twentieth century even more now most of us live alone many people live alone we where we're sort of deficient we sort of need more connection i'm fortunate that. three or four great
friends this stuff up was in the very much so so these rich relationships these individuals you can always call on any time you have shared memories absolutely spent a lot of time with them they really care about you or not in an important way there can be painful to it when you're suffering you're going to stop because you really care about these people at the same time or the bear that sympathetic somebody suffering is not nearly as and that's true and it's not as bad so you're there for each other why is ageing of both why is aging needs to be happy when you're a teenager will the research is that the happiest people are people the sixty's and seventy's everybody assumes that young people should be happy because they're so healthy and attractive but they're actually the least happy people teenagers really caught up in all sorts of social drama anxiety and shame so happiness doesn't change a lot with age but it actually goes up in the sixty's and seventy's now by the eighty's it begins to go down the health problems get more severe and you lose relationships you lose friends are always happy when we see that smiling face right
if one person smiles the part of the in the brain of another person that would cause miley is actually activated and here's a little brain research you can actually make your brain happier by forcing yourself to smile so next time you're in an uncontrolled situation the target an airplane remember put a smile on in your brain thinks that you're happy and you were do. sure physiologist just want me to tell me that i wake up and smile for smile he didn't even know the day was your gift and so gratitude burned thank you guys this was terrific i think you know the more we want to do this three times a year that happiness our subject john of them hiding all sad beautiful boathouse in central park larry king joins us on twitter at pains things as for another edition of larry king so.
they're hunting down as terrorists they hide in the woods and prepare to become suicide bombers only their mothers still believe these young men can be saved. oh you've gotten so fen. the mothers won't sleep at night they'll follow the sons into the woods find them and return them to a peaceful life they killed almost everybody. had been able to take him away from maybe that was by chance. how does it feel to be a terrorist mother oh my god if you have even the slightest chance come home. my son takes terrorist on o.t. . i know c.n.n. m s n b c news have taken some slightly but the fact is i admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate.
that was funny but it's closer to the truth and might think. it's because one call attention and the mainstream media works side by side the joke is actually on here. coming up. at our teen years we have a different thread. because the news of the world just is not this funny i'm not laughing dammit i'm not. good. at. you guys stick to the jokes i will handle the stuff that i've got a. mission free. education free instruction free. range three. three. three. three
blog live video for your media projects a free media don carty dot com. hey guys i'm abby martin welcome to breaking the set sad news to report today prominent yemeni activists even a human has died at the young age of twenty four of them known causes during his all too short yet remarkable life ibrahim fought for a better yemen i believe in the crusade against an illegal and a horrifying us drone war that has killed as many as four thousand four hundred people to date according to bureau of investigative journalism his words from a two thousand and twelve op ed in new york times still resonate with the exact same power and today and he writes.